The weight room: a place to build physical power, improve form and increase performance. What about a paperless weight room? Nothing but a device and screen that controls the environment of a room filled with high school athletes, properly completing and executing their exercises. An idea that seemed impractical to sports 20 years ago has turned a new leaf entering the 21st century age of technology, especially in Wisconsin.
This revolution has ignited a group of UW-Madison students to bring technology advancements to the weight room with WeightUp Solutions. Recording individual performance, team data and programing specific workouts can now all be completed through this innovative device. Just a new high-tech trend that will burn out? Not quite. Technology is changing the face of high school sports, expanding the possibilities of athlete performance and capability.
Social Media- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram- along with smart phones, apps, iPads and online programs have drastically evolved how coaches and players analyze their plays and strategies. These tools make team information and news accessible to coaches, players and viewers at the palm of your hand.
Technology on the field, pool, track or court has also expanded to provide extensive information on player ability. Assistive technology such as wearable devices- Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band- can can track measurements of motion, exertion and heart rate. Even a buzzing drone hovering over a football or soccer field captures aerial views of plays, all saved to the iPad or Tablet controlling it. And now a new technology trend in the weight room has sparked awareness among high school athletic programs. But what for? Can an iPad really make that big of a difference in simply counting reps?
Correct form, accurate repetition count and exercise feedback are critical when it comes to improving performance and decreasing injury of high school athletes in the weight room. Specific technology devices can make it easy for players to track these characteristics while performing tasks. WeightUp Solutions exemplifies this inventive device.
WeightUp is a portable weightlifting fitness tracker that is placed on equipment and connects to a mobile application. It helps weightlifters record repetitions, improve form, and more while providing feedback through the mobile application in real-time. An online dashboard allows coaches and trainers to review and follow their athletes’ workouts. Tailored workouts can be accommodated to limited players and overall injuries are prevented in the weight room. Unlike wearable devices, Weightup has a simple system that does not require a large piece of equipment next to machines, rather they are portable and easy to move. Because trackers are only required for machines and not each player, Weightup is financially reasonable for coaches and teams.
It’s low cost solution and ease of use make software devices such as WeightUp Solutions a huge beneficial opportunity and investment to high school athletic programs. Correct form, accurate exercise count and the prevention of injuries all achieved through a device and a screen is changing the game of high school sports. Building athletic power and performance has never been more efficient.
“We are trying to get athletes to understand that we want them to move the bar with as much intent and speed as they can,” says Steve Brown, UW-Oshkosh strength and conditioning coach, who will be testing the WeightUp system through the end of the year. “Not just to lift it, but to lift it fast and straight. This will selectively recruit certain muscle fibers to maximize force production.”
This development of sports technology and media is affecting a significant portion of Wisconsin high school athletic programs. Technology resources, such as the Madison-based company Weightup Solutions, are contributing to the advancement in Wisconsin sports and revolution of technology. WeightUp draws connections and resources from local athletic programs and the greater Wisconsin region to obtain important feedback and improvements to better its system. With the advanced sports programming systems that have already improved Wisconsin sports organization, WeightUp has proved to be another impressive addition to the field of technology with more to come.